Gasoline Vase Firebird
Porcelain, High Gloss Lacquer
Diameter 35 x H70cm (Diameter 14 x H28in)
The Gasoline Garden collection consists of fifteen unique pieces adorned with high octane imagery of pin-up girls wreathed in smoke and wrapped around vases which are modern interpretations of traditional Chinese forms. With Gasoline Garden Fredrikson Stallard consciously bring together two deeply rooted cultural practices, traditional Chinese vase making and the North American art of airbrushing and hot rod imagery. They are a cultural collision, but in both cases the work is about status. In China, the vase was a symbol of power and wealth, and in 20th century America, the car fulfilled the same role. But while the Chinese decorated their vases with dragons and flames, the American hot rod painters went for sexy girls and smoke. Dragons represented many things to the dynastic Chinese, including luck, happiness and heroism, while the image of pin up icon Rita Hayworth adorned the nose of American fighter planes to help pilots on their way.
The vases, in rich palettes of pinks, purples and greens, are layered with imagery; the girls (fashion models shot by a top photographer, and art directed by Fredrikson Stallard) are smouldering and sinuous as they stretch across the curves of the vases, licked by flames and smoke, full of female empowerment. Bold metallic streaks complete the designs.
The vases were made in finest porcelain by traditional Chinese makers, and then airbrushed in the UK by an artist who has devoted his life to perfecting the art of airbrushing. The results are astonishing and unusual, with a contemporary edge as well as an acknowledgement of the importance of great craftsmanship.